Spitting out her beauty and disgust, –She jiggled ghosts and skeletons, –Emptied blood and I was there. –I cleaned up her mess, –I fed her dog and I made her bed. –I watered the garden by the pyramid –And it blossomed.
In life or death, I must see her again. –She’s just like me; –God and the devil –Wrapped up in one tamale.
Rome in a Day
Rome sits on its seven haunches –And the pines, with fountains in their branches, –Old road markers in the Appian sun, –Are stolid, green and well run. –A conservative morning begins with dawn –And makes its logical way as a pawn –Is moved one square at a time –To Noon. It seems all right, but I’m –Conscious of a skip in my heartbeat, –And the day pops like corn in the heat –Of a sudden three o’clock. The wrench –Of time ticks in my ears. I hunch –My watch into a shadow to hide –It’s face from the white glare. Inside, –The gold hands turn green and catch –On the number six. I light a match –To see if they will stick there –As the fountains, with pines in their sprays, share –Their fate, dwindle and dry in the light –And Rome gets marching into the night.
A Swallow Speeds On
Morning: Two eggs, coffee with cream. –A fly noisily zigs and zags. –Noon: Ham and cheese on bread. –A butterfly silently flits and flits. –Evening: Steak and French Fries. –A hummingbird looks on while hovering. –Night: Four cookies and milk. –A bat menacingly zooms.
Invent the waves and vivid pools with me, –Cool, industrious, dibbling at our toes, –And let your knees snatch back at laps of sea. –Wade deeper toward the hole where seaweed grows, –Kick lively now, hitch up your sagging suit –And hold my hand. If you cannot see, –Loosen your grip, sit on my friendly foot, –Relax and let your hair float out to me. –I’ll pull you to a swirl for us alone –Where we can touch and float asleep or wake –And be content awhile with what we’ve sown. –To love where all we give is all we take, –As fishes waken from their restless sleep –To watch us drifting till we’re in too deep.
Two soldiers, one all white, one all red, –Guard the north wall of the cubed room. –Squat, each with a pedal –To open the lids hands-free. –Fourteen inches square, fifteen high, –Steel with polished mechanisms, –Spare, utilitarian, –Made in Switzerland. –Plastic liner bags skirt the tops, –Peek from the edges of the covers –Like play-filled children unready for sleep. –The sentinels neither bark nor rattle. –They stand so white and so red –Keeping all predators at bay.
At The Center
“In Emergency Push To Open,” –The automatic doors read on the unwashed, dribbly glass. –The further, outer door carries the same remark. –Between the first and second lies a cross-hatched –Block-built carpet, mole-grey brown. –The door to the entrance-garden has the same dribbles –And moves just as automatically. –Inside the inside, thick nurses, men and women, pad by. –Television gurgles softly, patients and personnel murmur, –Little clicks and taps identify heels and wheels, –Medical machinery and dropped tongue depressors. –Outside the outside, greenstuffs, and –Traffic tooting and squealing. –Between the inside and the outside lies a –Cross-hatched, block-built, mole-grey brown –Carpet.
By Jack Wilson
Jack Wilson is a poet and artist from Los Angeles and Phoenix. His poems have been published in the New York Times, The New York Herald-Tribune and numerous magazine. He founded a poetry magazine in Tempe, Arizona called “All Too Soon”, which was distributed at Changing hands Bookstore and other establishments.
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